We’ve heard a lot about the new Audi SQ7 and SQ8 over the past few months. However, each and every drive and review we’ve looked at for either has been from Europe. Thankfully, we’ll get to sample it ourselves in the near enough future, as both cars are coming to North America. Even better still, our US versions are going to be better.
While the Euro-market Audi SQ7 and SQ8 are powered by diesel V8s, the cars coming to North America will get proper gasoline-powered twin-turbocharged V8s. That’s right, no pesky diesel engines or puny V6s for our big brutes. Instead, we get some serious firepower.
Under the hood of both the new Audi SQ7 and SQ8 will be a 4.0 liter twin-turbo V8 making 500 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. While Audi hasn’t been very specific, it seems to be a de-tuned version of the same twin-turbo V8 found in the RS Q8 and RS6 Avant. In RS Q8 duty, that engine makes 591 hp and 590 lb-ft, so the lesser SQ7 and SQ8 will make almost 100 less horsepower but only about 23 less torques. So even though these two aren’t full-blown Audi Sport cars, they still pack quite the punch.
According to Audi, both the SQ7 and SQ8 can reach 60 mph in about 4.3 seconds, which is seriously quick. That puts both cars right in contention with their competition, such as the BMW X5/X6 M50i and the Mercedes-AMG GLE43.
Both the Audi SQ7 and SQ8 get all-wheel steering as-standard, in addition to Quattro all-wheel drive. Optional performance extras include a rear sports differential and active anti-roll bars. So they should be able to handle surprisingly well, despite each weighing as much as a small moon.
While big, heavy performance SUVs might not be an enthusiast’s first choice, we understand why they sell so well and why brands like Audi must make them. Plus, if we’re going to get big performance SUVs, we’re just glad the ones we get here in America come with the right engine. Pricing for either has yet to be announced but expect Audi SQ7 and SQ8 models to hit US dealerships in late Spring.